With A Little Help, and a Little Get Up and Go, You Can Conquer Anything

Have you ever had one of the weeks where you go to the grocery store, it is raining, you are in a hurry, the cashier is in training, you've forgotten your recyclable bags, your paper grocery bag is overflowing  and as you are putting the groceries in the car, the bag bottoms out and that much needed wine bottle splatters on the asphalt spraying the last clean clothes that you had left in your closet.  I had a week like that last week.  I had so much to do, I felt totally overwhelmed.

I always have lots to do but last week was exceptionally stressful.  It was March Madness.  The cars needed to be inspected to get our tag stickers, I needed to get all our tax papers to the accountant, our Spring break airline tickets had gone from $249.00 round trip to $300.00 and I still had not booked them, the vet told us that our cat who is in renal failure and who I give IV fluids to weekly would now need the fluids twice a week, Summer camp registration was filling up and the kids could not decide which camps they wanted, I was working at the hospital 36 hours a week instead of 20 because someone was on maternity leave, the school lunch volunteer program which I run was starting a brand new order period and parents, volunteers, and vendors had a million questions, my youngest son needed help with a Native American Project, one of our friend's mother died and we were having them over for dinner,  the laundry needed doing, there was something really sticky on the kitchen floor, my partner was knee deep in work, and I felt as though I was going off the deep end.

I rarely let my life spiral out of control.  I think this is because with my history of inattentive ADHD, I have had a lot of experience with doing things at the very last minute.  I know that I am much more efficient and effective if I stay on top of what needs to get done.    When life throws you a week like I had last week, however, staying on top of things is far from easy.

I ended up asking my co-workers to help me figure it all out.  I told my co-workers my dilemma and together we forged a plan to get started on everything.  Once I had started scratching tasks off my list, I gathered momentum and before I knew it, I had survived the week and I had accomplished everything that needed doing.  I think that there are two key factors that helped me last week.

The first factor was asking for help.  My partner was unavailable, we do not have family in town, our friends would have helped except that I was at work.  It was my co-workers who were around and I called on them to 'talk me through' what I needed to get done.  Talking to a friend, co-worker, or family member sometimes helps you to prioritize and get organized.  They can give you a perspective that you lack because you are in the thick of it and it becomes progressively harder, as things pile up, to see the washing machine from the mound of laundry.  They also become your coach and cheer leader in the process, making you accountable to the plan that they have helped you forge.

The second factor is just getting started.  Sometimes things are so overwhelming that you become paralyzed.  My father died when I was eight and my mother married an ex-Jesuit priest.  He was very interested in poetry, literature, and a great many other things and he encouraged us to try to do things that we did not think we were particularly good at.  He loved to recite poetry and whenever someone in the family said, "I can't do that!" , he would recite this poem;

"Somebody said that it couldn't be done but I with a chuckle replied, that maybe it couldn't but I would be one that didn't say so till I tried, so I buckled right in with a bit of a grin on my face if I worried I hid it, I started to sing as I tackled the thing that couldn't be done and I did it.  Somebody scoffed, oh you'll never do that, at least no one has ever done it.  But I took off my cap and I took off my coat and the next thing you know, I'd begun it."

I think that the greatest lesson that I learned from my step-father is that sometimes you just have to begin.  Once you have started something, inertia may well carry you to the finish line.  I am glad to feel back in control of my life but if you are starting to get overwhelmed remember to ask for help and then put one foot in front of the other and get moving.

1 comment:

  1. Hi! I found a link to your blog on a support group message board. I definitely know what you mean about getting started being the hardest part! I can spend an hour just sitting there, THINKING about getting started... and for some reason time just FLIES when you're seriously considering getting up and doing something!
    Do you live in the Chicago area and go to that support group? I live in Lombard, which is a western suburb. There is a support group here, but it is on Tuesday nights and I have school that night so I haven't gone yet! I wish Jefferson Park was closer to me!


Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.